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January 02, 2009— Ottawa, Ontario

Advancing information and communication technologies

This issue of NRC NewsLink looks at the importance of information and communication technologies (ICT) to other sectors of Canada's economy, and the steps NRC is taking to help Canada become a world leader in ICT innovation.

Since 1997, Canada's ICT sector has grown twice as fast as the overall economy, despite the fluctuating fortunes of several big firms. This is surprising when you consider that close to 95 percent of Canada's 32,000 ICT firms employ 10 or fewer people and have little capacity to conduct R&D. One of the factors driving this growth is that many of the innovations we see in other industries are built on advances in ICT. An investment in ICT research will therefore yield great benefits across the whole economy.

When the federal government named ICT as one of its priorities for S&T investment, NRC responded by launching a sector strategy. It lays the groundwork for meeting the needs of Canadian ICT firms by helping them develop convergent platform technologies that will boost innovation across several industries.

In this issue, you'll also read about a new NRC research centre that will provide ICT-based tools for the construction industry. Another article explains how NRC plans to use sensors and ICT systems to create "intelligent" buildings that will monitor and control a building's environmental health. These and other projects demonstrate the "NRC advantage," putting multidisciplinary teams to work alongside partners in universities, government and industry.

Through our expertise in photonics, microelectronics, advanced materials and more, NRC has much to offer the ICT sector. We look forward to helping Canadian firms compete even more strongly in world markets.

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